Changes between Version 1 and Version 2 of projects/leadership-committee/nov-2009/reports/status


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Timestamp:
Nov 19, 2009, 2:36:06 PM (11 years ago)
Author:
Jamie McClelland
Comment:

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  • projects/leadership-committee/nov-2009/reports/status

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    1 Main Report
     1= Main Report =
    22
    33This past year has been a truly remarkable year for both MF/PL and the entire progressive Internet movement in this country and in this Hemisphere. So many events and developments have taken place that it almost feels like several years packed into one.
     
    2727May First/People Link, as part of the progressive movement in the United States, is affected by all of this and all that emanates from it.
    2828
    29 The Positives
     29== The Positives ==
    3030
    31 Organization Status
     31=== Organization Status ===
    3232
    3333MF/PL is today among the largest progressive activist organizations in this country and one of largest Internet organizations in the world.
     
    3737Through the excellent work of LC member Mallory Knodel, we maintain monthly communications with this entire membership through our monthly emailed Newsletter "Low Down".
    3838
    39 Our primary work continues to be the sharing of Internet resources and we do this now through over 70 server units spread out over five locations in the country. Our members host a little under 700 websites and well over 3,000 email accounts and it is now clear that members are much more trusting of the infra-structure (based on the fairly common practice of opening new sites with us) and somewhat more conscious of our political stances and perspectives than was the case a year ago.
     39Our primary work continues to be the sharing of Internet resources and we do this now through over 70 servers spread out over five locations in the country. Our members host over 700 websites and over 3,000 email accounts and it is now clear that members are much more trusting of the infra-structure (based on the fairly common practice of opening new sites with us) and somewhat more conscious of our political stances and perspectives than was the case a year ago.
    4040
    41 "Outside" Work
     41=== "Outside" Work ===
    4242
    4343At the same time, MF/PL has continued to be very active in specific efforts and events. We are the leadership of the Internet Technology and Communications Work Group for the upcoming 2010 Social Forum: a centrally important and very critical task. There we are not only working to organize techies nationwide to provide the Forum with technology capability but we're working hard, every day, to raise consciousness about technology and the politically progressive visions of it our movements should have.
     
    5151In general, as we do all this, we can safely say that our organization continues to have an excellent reputation within the left in this country and its becoming better known among progressives and our movement. The trend among members of launching more than one site using their membership demonstrates the confidence people have in our systems.
    5252
     53=== Tech Improvements ===
     54
    5355Under Co-Director Jamie McClelland's leadership the organization has made several major technological advances. While some of these advances are "under the hood" (upgrading of systems, etc.) and aren't visible to most members, they represent a major step forward in making MF/PL's systems among the most secure and reliable on the Internet. These are explained somewhat more in Jamie's report.
    5456
    5557The improvements that are visible are the remarkable Control Panel interface which now gives members powers to actually create hosting orders and websites (among other capabilities) and the popularization and generalized use of our ticketing system which is now rapidly closing in on 3,000 tickets and appears to have won the confidence of most of our members.
    5658
    57 The Negatives
     59== The Negatives ==
    5860
    5961No picture is completely rosey and, in this challenging historical and social situation, none should ever be if you're doing your job. We have some negatives and they are significant.
     
    6567It's also true that the Social Justice movement, our main recruitment target, is in crisis. Much of this movement relies on funding and, as we predicted last year, that funding is becoming harder to find. There is huge instability in both staffing and available funds and all of that is an obstacle to organizations looking for "new hosting". While we have made political in-roads as mentioned above, we have yet to really popularize for this movement the importance of the Internet and the importance of who you choose as a provider. So, in the crisis, these organizations don't prioritize their Internet hosting.
    6668
    67 What is particularly frustrating is that we are really deepening relationships with all kinds of organizations involved in movement work and even some involved directly in Internet work...without any real recruitment. There are many examples of this, one prominent one being our Radical techies list. It's one of the larger lists of its type and one of the most active and it has yet to yeild even one membership after years of existence. In fact, in a remarkable spams of insensitivy and unsupportiveness, members of this list actually post recommendations for other providers without even mentioning us.
     69What is particularly frustrating is that we are really deepening relationships with all kinds of organizations involved in movement work and even some involved directly in Internet work...without any real recruitment. There are many examples of this, one prominent one being our Radical techies list. It's one of the larger lists of its type and one of the most active and it has yet to yeild even one membership after years of existence. In fact, in a remarkable spams of insensitivity and un-supportiveness, members of this list actually post recommendations for other providers without even mentioning us.
    6870
    6971Besides deeply affecting recruitment and our ability to efficiently function inside the movement, this also presents a security problem. Our recent encounters with companies around the DMCA dramatize the threat this horrible law is to us. Among our proposals is an effort to actually take this law one frontally. But court cases aren't won in court; they require considerable movement support to be successful. At this stage, we can't be confident that we have that.
    7072
    71 Semi-implemented Past Decisions
     73== Semi-implemented Past Decisions ==
    7274
    7375Decisions made by the Leadership Committee in 2008 involved several areas including the Social Forum, Outreach/Inreach and the Hemispheric Initiative.
     
    8789There is, at this point, no real outreach strategy except for working through techies and this, as stated above, has proven problematic.
    8890
    89 We *have* done internal work although only our very large and successful video meeting (bringing together all members working in video) followed the "bring similar members together" theme. We also brought together our food coop members (there are three of them) along with the Park Slope Food coop for a "CiviCRM sprint" workday. And, at the Allied Media Conference 2009, several members came to a lunch meeting with Mallory to discuss MF/PL, its plans and its future.
     91We ''have'' done internal work although only our very large and successful video meeting (bringing together all members working in video) followed the "bring similar members together" theme. We also brought together our food coop members (there are three of them) along with the Park Slope Food coop for a "CiviCRM sprint" workday. And, at the Allied Media Conference 2009, several members came to a lunch meeting with Mallory to discuss MF/PL, its plans and its future.
    9092
    91 The consistency of LowDown is a reminder and an organizational binder and among our most successful in-reach tools.
     93The consistency of Low Down is a reminder and an organizational binder and among our most successful in-reach tools.
    9294
    93 Proposals for Coming Year
     95== Proposals for Coming Year ==
    9496
    95 Recruitment -- It's essential that we start working on membership recruitment in a planned and much more confident/aggressive way. The strategy of waiting for people to join or working exclusively through techies' referrals appears to have dried up. With a continuously growing progressive movement, making the political argument for membership could become more palatable.
     97Recruitment - It's essential that we start working on membership recruitment in a planned and much more confident/aggressive way. The strategy of waiting for people to join or working exclusively through techies' referrals appears to have dried up. With a continuously growing progressive movement, making the political argument for membership could become more palatable.
    9698
    97 AT the same time, our dependence of small funded social justice organizations is dangerous: funding is drying up and this incarnation of the progressive movement seems to be in very dangerous decline.
     99At the same time, our dependence of small funded social justice organizations is dangerous: funding is drying up and this incarnation of the progressive movement seems to be in very dangerous decline.
    98100
    99 Techie Congress
     101=== Techie Congress ===
    100102
    101103With a job loss that some estimate at over 70 percent in the last decade and a dramatically declining pool of freelance opportunity, techies have become one of the American working class's most battered sectors and those who continue to work are among its most exploited.
     
    109111We're proposing that MF/PL call a national techie "congress" which would take place during the USSF 2010 whose purpose it would be to draw up a Techie Bill of Rights and present that to the entire movement during the Social Forum and to get as many organizations as possible to "pledge" to the observance of those rights in their work. The gathering would also make plans for recruiting signators to this document after the Forum and also to make it a document for International outreach to techies world-wide.
    110112
    111 Consulta Hemisferica
     113=== Consulta Hemisferica ===
    112114
    113115It's difficult to imagine the United States surviving without a more useful and more collaborative relationship with the rest of the Hemisphere and this understanding is one of President Obama's most striking attributes. Where the movement and the Obama Administration differ is in the balance between "intense" and "collaborative".